Trouble signing in to educational software can eat up nearly 25 percent of class time, a survey reports.

May 27 2014

Single Sign-on Solutions Helping K–12 Teachers

Trouble signing in to educational software can eat up nearly 25 percent of class time, a survey reports.

As the Internet of Everything continues to spread on school campuses, teachers are running into an ever-present problem: trying to keep up with all logins for all students.

"If you’ve been a teacher, you know what it’s like to have those three students with their hands in the air, unable to log in, just as you’re finally ready to get kids started on the computers," says Nick Grandy of the ed-tech company Clever.

The San Francisco–based company made a name for itself by helping schools and companies provision student technologies. Its support now covers more than 20,000 K–12 schools, according to EdSurge.

But Clever's newest project, Instant Login, is the latest competitor in the single sign-on market for education.

A survey of 204 elementary and middle school teachers, conducted by MDR for Clever, showed that about 25 percent of class time is usually spent on troubleshooting and getting educational program up and running, according to a press release from the company. The survey also revealed that teachers found the sign-on issues a barrier to adopting more digital-learning software.

Instant Login lets teachers and their students connect to more than 20 of the most popular apps used in today's schools by using just one login.

The service works by using a school system's class roster and connecting it with web-based educational-software packages, eliminating the need for multiple logins for each student.

Similar education-based, single sign-on solutions include EduTone, a cloud-based service; and Education Elements, which works in a manner similar to Instant Login. Single sign-on services are a growing trend, as password security becomes a growing problem. Independent of education environments, there are services such as 1Password and OneLogin, that offer secure, password-vault functionality across multiple websites with the use of a single account.

Instant Login is currently being piloted in three school districts, and there are plans for a full rollout to all schools in July, for free. The service is available for school districts using Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) environments or Google Apps for Education, making Instant Login an easy fit for schools using Chromebooks.

Clever’s business model keeps the service free for schools while charging vendors a monthly fee, EdSurge reported.

Clever's project manager Nick Grandy wrote in a May 14 blog post that the company is working to expand the tool to support even more districts.

"We want as many students as possible to benefit from Instant Login. For that reason, we’re providing it to districts for free," Grandy wrote.

<p>Courtesy of Clever</p>

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